What They Bought: Art in the Age
When Philadelphia adman Steven Grasse talks about his 20 years at the helm of Gyro Worldwide, the successful agency he shuttered in 2008, his assessment is as blunt as you might expect from the man who invented Bikini Bandits, a video series about strippers, guns, and hot rods: “I was the asshole who did the Camel ads,” he says. “At Gyro, we had this ‘I’ll fuck anything that moves’ philosophy.” That all changed in 2008, when he sold Sailor Jerry — the rum brand he created before going on to help develop Hendrick’s Gin — to William Grant & Sons for “more money than I ever made in advertising,” he says. Grasse quickly changed the name of his agency to Quaker City Mercantile and transformed its mission completely. “Now we only work on brands that we create and own or with clients I truly like personally,” he says.
That's some bad hat, Harry
Shark Week withdrawal? Celebrate the 35th anniversary of "Jaws" at Somerville Theater this Thursday and Friday (Aug. 19-20). The classic flick will screen at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. both days — the fin fest is sponsored by Narragansett Beer.
All together now: "We're going to need a bigger boat!"
Thursday Aug 19 7:00 PM BOO CITY @ Everyman
The eighth show of the 2010 "Thursday Nights Live at ALCO" FREE Outdoor Summer Concert Series is BOO CITY! Boo City is Tai Awolaju, Carey Bowman, ANdrew Moon Bain, Harry Milloff, Greyson Farmer, Frank Ranks Moniz and Eric Bloom, brining you their own special mix of Soul, Rhythm & Country Blues, Rock, and Reggae.
Dutch Cookie Inspires New Liquor in PA
By Peter Crimmins
A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas cookie has entered the Center City bar scene dressed up as alcohol. A Philadelphia-based artisan boutique created a spirit based on the lebkucha, a type of honey cake which has an intellectual pedigree.
It’s called Snap, distilled from molasses with a ginger aftertaste – the ingredients of the leb-kucha. Bartender Ed Jones at Farmacia in Old City gives Snap some crackle by adding pop rocks.
Jones: While it definitely has a ginger finish, I was very impressed with black strap molasses quality.
Snap is made by a company called Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction, named after an early 20-century essay about aesthetics and capitalism. The creators of Snap say that, by being rooted in a Pennsylvania Dutch culinary tradition, it upholds the essay’s premise that hand-made products inherently have more aesthetic value than mass-produced ones.
Food historian William Weavers says the original lebkucha cookie is an intimate part of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.
Weavers: I’ve interviewed a lot of folks, and everybody remembers Lebkucha at Christmastime. “Oh! Grandmother’s lebkucha,” that sort of thing. So it has a lot of warm and fuzzy memories in the culture.
Weavers says the original lebkucha cookie was based on honey, but honey was expensive so frugal bakers would stretch it with cheaper molasses.
Tonight: "Can You Drink from your Sink?" at Art in the Age
It's been an age old myth that you should never drink the waters of Philadelphia as it is ridden with dense bacteria and chemicals that will make you sprout another head. Well tonight, Art in the Age set the record straight with the lecture "Can You Drink From Your Sink?".
The Curated Boutique
As an avid reader of fashion magazines and blogs, I’ve noticed a curious trend over the past few years. Upscale boutiques are described as “curated,” selling “discerning” and “careful” collections of items. Are they just borrowing the language of museums or is something else at work when the worlds of retail and curation collide?